BOSTON – One week ago, Gene DeFilippo looked distraught and strained as he announced the firing of head football coach Jeff Jagodzinski.
But the mood was much different in the Yawkey Athletics Center on Wednesday, as an upbeat DeFilippo announced the hiring of 10-year defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani as the next head coach of the Eagles. The move is expected to bring continuity to a program that has seen two coaches depart in the last three years.
"Today is one great day for Boston College, and for Boston College football," said DeFilippo, in a news conference in the Barber Family Auditorium. "People are really excited to have Frank… Spaz bleeds maroon and gold."
In a statement released to the media, DeFilippo said that Boston College "wanted someone who could be respected by our alumni, fans, staff, the news media, and most importantly, our student-athletes. And we wanted to find someone who really wanted to be at Boston College, more than anywhere else. We found the perfect person for that job right here on our staff. That person is Frank Spaziani."
DeFilippo and Spaziani emphasized loyalty to the BC community and Spaziani's familiarity with the university. Reinforcing the theme, Spaziani's wife, Laura, and members of the Boston College administration in attendance draped Spaziani's trademark gold towel over their shoulders during the introduction.
"I wanted to be a head coach, but not just for the sake of being a head coach," said Spaziani. "I wanted to be a head coach at Boston College."
"It's a family here. I've been at a couple of schools, and it's just different here. There's a true affection for this place. This is the kind of atmosphere I like to be a part of."
But DeFilippo added that while commitment to Boston College was an important factor in the hire, the coaching search focused on finding the best coach for the program.
"We want to stay in the elite level of college football programs. [Spaziani] is an outstanding football coach and a great motivator," DeFilippo said. "When the best coach you could hire is already on your staff, that's a big advantage."
Spaziani has spent twelve years coaching at Boston College, including the last ten years as a defensive coordinator. His defensive units have developed a strong reputation – in each of the past two seasons, BC's run defense has ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
Spaziani did not announce how much of the coaching staff would be retained in 2009.
"The next step is to evaluate where we are going. I'm going to do what's in the best interest of Boston College. We'll meet with everyone and then move on from there," he said.
Spaziani also emphasized the importance of recruiting, an area of concern in Jagodzinski's final months at BC. "That's our lifeblood. You have to recruit and be enthusiastic about recruiting. I look forward to it."
"I'd like to thank Gene DeFilippo for giving me the opportunity. I don't take this charge lightly," Spaziani said. "I'm committed to doing a good job at BC for a long time."
Boston College Names Spaziani as Head Coach
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